NI Water begins process to appoint permanent board

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Northern Ireland Water is to appoint a permanent board of directors

Northern Ireland Water is to appoint a new permanent board of directors to replace the interim team put in place after members of the original board were sacked.

The current, interim board was appointed after the publication of a critical internal report.

It found that £8.5m of business had been awarded without proper competitive tendering.

Advertisements for the permanent posts appeared on Thursday.

In a statement the Department of Regional Development (DRD) confirmed that it had launched a "full appointments process" to replace the chair and up to four interim directors.

The DRD said the process was expected to take six months to complete and would be "carried out in an open, transparent and independent manner".

The chair will be paid approximately £40,000 a year for working four days a month, while the directors will receive £18,000 for two days per month.

The current interim chair is Padraic White, a former managing director of the Irish Republic's Industrial Development Authority (IDA).

Mr White was appointed in August on an interim basis for up to nine months. He replaced Chris Mellor who was sacked by Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy in March after the Independent Review Team report.

The other interim directors appointed in June included Peter Bunting, a senior trade unionist; Lawson McDonald, a former senior civil servant and Kevin Steele an accountant and former director at NI Electricity.

Belfast businessman and former Sinn Fein representative Mairtin O'Muilleoir who was also appointed as an interim director, is to leave the post after announcing he is to re-enter politics.

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